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View Full Version : What to do - PC - LapTop or Mac


Marcy
23rd of August 2008 (Sat), 10:12
What would you do - I need to make a decision about computer choice - I have a HP PC Desktop with XP Home - it is beginning to have some problems - would it be wise to buy a dedicated Laptop or Mac Laptop for photo processing and internet usage - and let my husband keep the other PC for everything else - we have limited space as we live in an RV - but I need a good computer to work with my photos - money is not really a problem -
I have never used a Mac - always a PC user but not really a problem to change over if it would be worth the effort -
any suggestions would be appreciated

adam LC
23rd of August 2008 (Sat), 10:31
I recently bought a 24" Imac, never used any Mac computer before... and I love it. The only downside is the glossy screen, but I can put up with that. Photos look excellent on this display. It takes up minimal room as everything is self contained, quiet as a mouse too. Once you turn on the system; its a matter of seconds before you're set to go... not like 3.5 minutes for my windows Dell laptop. I use aperture 2 and CS3, the imac is plenty fast enough for my needs (2.8Ghz/4mb RAM/320gb HD)

Lets just say, I'll never go back to windows again. So a new imac would be my recommendation, for the above reasons.

mson
23rd of August 2008 (Sat), 11:33
You have excellent options for a laptop with both Windows and Apple. There isn't much of an effort to switch to Mac, it does things a little differently but is basically the same usability wise. If you are not tech savy, one benefit of buying a Mac would be you can take it to an Apple store and they will take care of you. With Dell, HP, etc... it's not as convenient. IMO, the biggest downside to switching from Windows to Apple is the software cost. You might need to buy your software again for the Mac side. Of course there is the option to run Parallels or VMWare or Bootcamp if you don't want to buy a bunch of Mac compatible software right away. I suggest going to an Apple store and playing with the Macbook and Macbook Pro to see if you even like them.

ArcticShooter
23rd of August 2008 (Sat), 12:02
I use both Mac and PC.
When you get used to the Mac you get annoyed when you have to use a Windows.
Installing and uninstalling software is so easy. Just drag and drop. When you want to remove it, you just drag it to the garbage bin.

But there is still lots of software that you only find for Windows PC.
But it seems to improve and should not stop you in getting a Mac.

Speed wise there is no difference any more. So just get what you like the most. But be warned: switching from XP to Vista is a hair puller....OSX will not harm you...

adam LC
23rd of August 2008 (Sat), 14:20
Don't be too worried about buying software again, if you're using photoshop/lightroom; Adobe will crossgrade. You just need to call customer services and they'll go through it with you. most of the time there is no charge, you'll just have to sign some paperwork to say you've destroyed the windows version and you wont distribute it.

bsmotril
23rd of August 2008 (Sat), 14:22
Get the MAc. It's super easy to run windows on it, even at the same time as you run MACos concurrently if you get the Parallels desktop SW. If you have photoshop installed on two PC's now as allowed by their license, you first have to surrender your PC license before they'll send you a MAC installation CD. That was the message I got from Adobe Support.

Moppie
23rd of August 2008 (Sat), 22:52
Forget about the whole Mac vs PC crap.
Which operating system you use is not the issue here, it is a matter of what form factor is best for processing photos.

Laptops are NOT the best.
They lack the processing power of a high end desk top, they lack the storage capacity, and the screens are not up to the same standard.

You would be better of buying a new desktop for you to do your photo work on, and getting a cheap lap top for your husband.

Anke
23rd of August 2008 (Sat), 22:55
Firstly Mac vs. PC. Mac all the way, you won't regret it. It just works. But you are asking one of the most bitterly fought questions ever asked, so its bound to provoke people.

Secondly, I first thought that I could do all my photo processing on a laptop but in the end had to get a desktop again, I now use the laptop purely for surfing the Net.

Beaufort 12
24th of August 2008 (Sun), 02:43
Do you need a laptop?

Because you're trading in desktop advantages for mobility.


Advantages of desktops.

1. Bigger screen.

2. Much better ergonomy.

3. Screen has higher bit depth, better colors.


_______ post deteriorates below this line. Do not cross the line. I crossed it. One person should be enough. Or it gets crowded on the other side.


Advantages of a laptop

1. If you like developing a hunchback, you'll get there easier.

2. If you enjoy resting your hands on hot surfaces, that's the way to go. Although you could cheat and can attach an external keyboard and mouse.

Now to the disadvantages of a laptop...

;)

You can of course connect an external monitor to a laptop and an external keyboard and an external mouse.

But if you connected an external computer, too, you'd have a desktop, and you don't need to buy everything twice.


Let me check my post...

Confuse everybody... check

Miss the subject... check

I think I'm fine. You are fine. We all are fine. Isn't this fine?

Beaufort 12
24th of August 2008 (Sun), 02:48
double post. deleted.

Dan-
24th of August 2008 (Sun), 11:45
Since money is not a problem, but space is, $2646 gets you a 24" iMac with an excellent video card (important for future), Aperture and iWork and 3 year warranty. A few extra bucks here and there increase HDD capacity and RAM. $50 gets you wireless mouse and keyboard, etc.

mson
24th of August 2008 (Sun), 14:42
Don't be too worried about buying software again, if you're using photoshop/lightroom; Adobe will crossgrade. You just need to call customer services and they'll go through it with you. most of the time there is no charge, you'll just have to sign some paperwork to say you've destroyed the windows version and you wont distribute it.

Are you sure about this? I inquired about this a few months back (specifically about PS CS3) when I was considering switching but no one seemed to know. If it was Adobe policy I would think the info would be more widely known. I've even posted on Adobe forums that I wish PS was one product for Windows/OS X and received no response... BTW, Lightroom is a hybrid disk/download. There is one SKU for both Windows and Mac so no need to crossgrade.

adam LC
24th of August 2008 (Sun), 14:45
Are you sure about this? I inquired about this a few months back (specifically about PS CS3) when I was considering switching but no one seemed to know. If it was Adobe policy I would think the info would be more widely known. I've even posted on Adobe forums that I wish PS was one product for Windows/OS X and received no response... BTW, Lightroom is a hybrid disk/download. There is one SKU for both Windows and Mac so no need to crossgrade.

Pretty sure...

Crossgrade (http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/adobe/f/crossgrade.htm)

ArcticShooter
24th of August 2008 (Sun), 15:01
Firstly Mac vs. PC. Mac all the way, you won't regret it. It just works. But you are asking one of the most bitterly fought questions ever asked, so its bound to provoke people.

Secondly, I first thought that I could do all my photo processing on a laptop but in the end had to get a desktop again, I now use the laptop purely for surfing the Net.

+1 totally agrees

mson
24th of August 2008 (Sun), 15:06
Pretty sure...

Crossgrade (http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/adobe/f/crossgrade.htm)

Hmmm, okay I guess this just isn't what I would like/expect. A "crossgrade" where you buy the upgrade for the other platform is an upgrade to me. If you have to upgrade PS, Illustrator, Flash it is still a significant cost. Hopefully after CS4 the code will be the same on both platforms and Adobe will just have one SKU.

adam LC
24th of August 2008 (Sun), 15:12
Hmmm, okay I guess this just isn't what I would like/expect. A "crossgrade" where you buy the upgrade for the other platform is an upgrade to me. If you have to upgrade PS, Illustrator, Flash it is still a significant cost. Hopefully after CS4 the code will be the same on both platforms and Adobe will just have one SKU.

I'm pretty sure that is possible too, all you will do is pay the upgrade fee. If you have CS2 on windoze and want to upgrade to CS3 for the mac; you just pay the upgrade and crossgrade price.

By definition though, a crossgrade is exactly what it is... swapping CS3 for windoze for CS3 for mac.

Beaufort 12
24th of August 2008 (Sun), 15:21
Back to topic.

If you really want to have something nice I'd go with a cinema display (or an Eizo ColorEdge) and a MacPro.

Marcy
24th of August 2008 (Sun), 21:04
thanks for all the input I will be evaluating the situation over the next few weeks -

Lonnie
24th of August 2008 (Sun), 21:25
I think I would have to go with a laptop and external monitor,keyboard,mouse if I were in your shoes. The flexibility of using a laptop for photography is worth the performance tradeoff in my opinion.

I have used strictly a laptop for my photography work since December of last year, and it has worked well for me. I do not like switching between a laptop and desktop, I find it much easier to just use one computer. That way, when I grab my laptop bag, I know I have access to all of my files and apps. We do have two other desktop PC's in my home, but I don't use either one of them.

Kronie
25th of August 2008 (Mon), 15:03
They lack the processing power of a high end desk top, they lack the storage capacity, and the screens are not up to the same standard.

How do you figure? I just bought a laptop last month with a 2.53 Ghz. Core 2 extreme processor, 4 gigs or ram and 2x320 Gig hard drives.

Its blazing fast. Runs Photoshop CS3 like nothing.

The screen is a high def WUXGA screen that looks absolutely stunning.

Dan-
25th of August 2008 (Mon), 15:20
How do you figure? I just bought a laptop last month with a 2.53 Ghz. Core 2 extreme processor, 4 gigs or ram and 2x320 Gig hard drives.

Its blazing fast. Runs Photoshop CS3 like nothing.

The screen is a high def WUXGA screen that looks absolutely stunning.
What's your battery life? How many dBs do the fans push? How big's the screen? How could something that heavy be considered remotely portable? I can pick up a generator, a Mac Pro and a display and carry it around too (just not very far), but that doesn't make it portable. Also I have more GB in my external HDD than is in your laptop. Some desktops hold 4+ drives. With 1.5TB drives coming out, I believe your puny 640GB is trumped.

More importantly, how's that TN screen treating you?

Moppie
25th of August 2008 (Mon), 17:01
How do you figure? I just bought a laptop last month with a 2.53 Ghz. Core 2 extreme processor, 4 gigs or ram and 2x320 Gig hard drives.

Its blazing fast. Runs Photoshop CS3 like nothing.

The screen is a high def WUXGA screen that looks absolutely stunning.

Compared to my Quad core, 4gb of ram, 2TB of disc space, and 3200x1200 of screen resolution it is not that fancy.
And just how functional is that track pad for fine photoshop work, what happens when the battery goes flat?

There are plenty of high end "lap tops" that do pack plenty of performance. But they also tend to get to hot to actually sit on your lap, which along with the size and limited batter life means they are really just a compromised Desk Top.
Handy if your really short on space, or you need some level of portablity. They are also very expensive.

Lap tops have thier use, just goto the media room at any major sporting event to see lots of photos being processed and submitted for publication on lap tops, but they are not ideal.

Kronie
25th of August 2008 (Mon), 17:18
What's your battery life? How many dBs do the fans push? How big's the screen? How could something that heavy be considered remotely portable? I can pick up a generator, a Mac Pro and a display and carry it around too (just not very far), but that doesn't make it portable. Also I have more GB in my external HDD than is in your laptop. Some desktops hold 4+ drives. With 1.5TB drives coming out, I believe your puny 640GB is trumped.

More importantly, how's that TN screen treating you?

Dan,
Of course a desktop can be more powerful and hold more that's why its a desktop. My point was just that you can buy a laptop that will work just as well as a half decent desktop.

Battery life does kind of suck but I didn't buy a 17" laptop top to carry all over creation. Its plugged in most of the time. Otherwise its good for about two hours. The fans no louder than the one in your old clunky desktop.

The screen? Its fabulous! (as long as I look straight on). If I was anything but a hobby photographer I would buy a good flat panel.

Moppie
25th of August 2008 (Mon), 17:33
If I was anything but a hobby photographer I would buy a good flat panel.

Ultimatly it is about having the best tool for your needs.
The more work you do to your photos, and the more photos you process, and the less time you have to do it, and higher the quality level you demand, the better the tool you will need.

Dan-
25th of August 2008 (Mon), 18:37
Speaking as someone who uses a 15" laptop to do most of his work, I'd buy a desktop in half a second if I had room for an actual desk in this Boston studio.

SSquared
25th of August 2008 (Mon), 21:27
The decision of laptop vs. desktop really depends on your personal desires and requirements. As has been rather strongly stated, a desktop will be more powerful. So if speed, RAM, HD space, etc. is of high priority, then you should look at the desktop. If portability is important, then the laptop.

I have moved to a laptop and am extremely happy with the decision. But my decision was highly based on portability needs. I would sometimes lug my desktop while on vacation. Having laptops from work really helped and I realized many situations where I enjoyed using the work laptop. So, in the end, I got one for myself. The trade offs for me were well worth it and I may continue down this path for my next computer.

The one drawback is the laptop screen. The screen on mine looks really nice, though. But for photo editing, you really need to be sure what you are looking at is the correct brightness. This varies depending on what angle you have the screen. As a result, I have found some photos print too dark if I don't catch myself. I do have my screen calibrated, but you can still run into variations depending on viewing angle. Eventually, I'd like to get an external monitor for the laptop.

Lonnie
25th of August 2008 (Mon), 21:49
Look! It's Moppie at Starbucks! (http://improveverywhere.com/2008/02/25/mobile-desktop/) ;)

Moppie
25th of August 2008 (Mon), 22:22
Look! It's Moppie at Starbucks! (http://improveverywhere.com/2008/02/25/mobile-desktop/) ;)

Almost, but I have better taste in coffee than starbucks,

elisemkII
26th of August 2008 (Tue), 03:26
I can suggest a macbook pro + an external monitor like eizo cg or nec spectraview. you can do a lot of work with the mac and connect it to the high quality monitor via DVI just when a real color match is necessary.

alberto